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Comment Not a patriot at this point (Score 1) 196

Someone appalled at how the CIA has been allowed to run amok and trample all over the freedoms guaranteed by that document.

The CIA has no domestic jurisdiction. Everyone crying "muh freedumbz" at the CIA misses the tiny little fact that the CIA is not the KGB and not going after domestic intelligence. That is the FBI's jurisdiction, and they would gut the CIA and wear their flesh like a coat before letting the CIA muscle in on their territory if the CIA actually even tried.

Comment I don't expect action on this (Score 2) 49

Because the environmental movement has been anti-human for a long time and never concerned itself with pragmatism. Hence the knee-jerk hostility toward all--all--nuclear power, instead of saying we should make it safer as we invest in it. This issue is hard, but something governments can actually pursue aggressively without intruding hard into the economy. Simple solution: phase out disposable plastic as much as possible. Going to glass and aluminum will make soda too expensive for the poor? Good. Now we're tackling public healthcare-subsidized obesity at the same time.

Comment The price of "freedom" (Score 2, Insightful) 132

The Center for Investigative Reporting found that some of the photographs posted on the Facebook group may have been taken consensually, but others may not have been.

50 years ago, all of those photos would have been classified as obscene materials and no one would have voluntarily taken them except between some husbands and wives. The single most overlooked practical value that the "old norms" had was simplifying things to the point that someone with a 80 IQ could merrily engage with the opposite sex and know with 99% certainty what was permissible and what wasn't.

The issue also applies to rape as well, outside of clearly forcible rape. Legal fornication acts as static against the signal as far as law enforcement goes. They must now prove purely a state of mind and cannot rely on circumstantial evidence like "normal girls don't ever have one night stands with men they just met."

In many respects, it is not at all obvious that we are freer today than we were when social and legal conventions were simpler and tighter. Now, if anything, the degree of subjectivity is enormously empowering to bureaucrats and law enforcement. Hell, our own former Vice President said that literally all drunken sex involves a female rape victim. That means if you are married, and your wife happily has drunken sex with you, you are open to being accused of rape between the legal acceptance of marital rape and various other statutes like the ones regulating intoxication (and that the state does not need the "victim's" permission to prosecute).

I'll go pop a soma now. It'll take the edge off of our brave new world.

Comment Literally Hitler (Score 5, Interesting) 478

No, this is not against trolls, but something far worse. Erdogan is literally the closest thing in the industrialized world to Hitler we have. Don't believe me?

1. It's looking more and more like he staged a fake coup (remind you of the Reichstag burning?) to preemptively crush dissent.
2. He's adopted a view of immigration and migration that is close to the Nazi policy of lebensraum.
3. He has used a popular referendum to greatly empower himself and gut the authority of competing institutions.
4. He has taken a Turkish equivalent of the Nazi view about fellow Germans living in other countries. His government went nuts when European states clamped down on Turkish political organization in their borders.
5. FFS, he even channels Hitler with the moustache.

Odds are very good that if there is a mass civil war in Europe over race and religion, it will be directly the result of Erdogan's work combined with the idiocy of Merkel and a few others who let him get away with it. Anyone who considered Erdogan, who wants to resurrect Ottoman Turkey, would have wanted to keep those migrants out at bayonet point if necessary.

Comment It does "empower her" (Score 3, Insightful) 166

ownership of such a device should, according to most of the received wisdom, empower its owner

The smartphone did "empower her." It turns out that life does not work in dichotomies the way binary thinkers assume it must because, for whatever reason, that is all they can see. Did this new tool result in a net loss of capabilities for her? No, it just introduced a nasty unintended side effect based on her ignorance and a particular method of app distribution.

Comment Doesn't sound like most of the ones I know (Score 5, Insightful) 149

The single biggest gripe would be "forced to use the same super-locked down image from IT that is given to management, secretaries and marketing, but expected to 'build great stuff'." Seriously, while I've worked with some very smart IT people, I'd say that the majority of IT is no more knowledgeable about infosec than the average developer and even frequently less knowledgeable.

Comment We've not been installing dictator after dictator (Score 1) 286

We've installed dictator after dictator, constantly destabilising the region decade after decade.

You make it sounds like the West is assassinating leaders and installing puppets on a regular basis. The reality is that the Middle East was, until the Arab Spring, very stable in terms of the rate of upheaval in political systems. Europe was a basket case in the 20th century compared to the Middle East. What you see happen with the Middle East is the same thing you have in Mexico, where the PRI ruled for the better part of a century. Stability in the political class is far less important than the broader culture. A stable culture that is too corrupt (or something else very damaging) to unleash the abilities of the people to modernize and develop isn't going to get you far.

Comment Reminds me of a conversation with a colleague (Score 2, Interesting) 286

A colleague of mine was **adamant** that because he could quantify the amount of harm Bush had done to the country in terms of lost troops, money, etc. and could not do the same with Obama (Arab Spring, Benghazi, etc.) that Obama was simply not in the same league. My response was that Obama was actually worse because while Bush weakened the old order that kept a lid on the extremists in the name of spreading dumbocracy in the Middle East, he didn't help overturn regimes like the Mubarak or Gaddafi regimes which kept a lid on some serious, organized problems.

So now what we have is worse than a world where the problems can be quantified, we live in a disordered world in which people continue to derp about "free and open societies" with global travel, as their own elected leaders have all but played the role of the Joker (Ledger, not Leto) around the world, creating a fertile breeding ground for terrorism and organized, dangerous extremist movements. The terrorists didn't so much as win over the last sixteen years as they didn't lose.

The most rational policy at this point would be to break up the foreign enclaves in the West, deport all of the recent arrivals (like last 20 years) and set up a policy of aid in the form of both financing for repair in countries like Syria and direct military assistance to the damaged states to help them stamp out the Islamist uprisings quickly, brutally and with as little collateral damage to non-combatants as possible. If we would just take the kid gloves off the US Army and MC and let Mattis channel his inner Patton against ISIS, we could probably bring peace to Syria in six months.

Comment Totally worth it (Score 5, Interesting) 207

Adding an extra 40min round trip to an existing 30min round trip dropped our mortgage principle over 33%. This is incredibly important when you look at interest rates. 5% was standard when bought, and probably will be again soon if it isn't. Right now it's apparently 4%. Let's say you finance $360k. Over the life time of a 30 year mortgage, that is $208k of interest and you only get a fraction of that back in deductions. So really, spending a lot more to be close to a city is sending trashbags full of cash to the banks.

Comment Priorities (Score 5, Interesting) 265

These companies have been putting so much effort into detecting "hate speech," but the number of times that my wife has had to hit the home button on the Roku to stop a horror movie trailer or something equally inappropriate on content appropriate for preschoolers is truly appalling. But we're not triggered, we just deal with it so we don't count.

Comment Maybe she would work less hard (Score 1) 476

If more of the same people who are decrying a pregnant woman burning the candle at both ends for Uber would back Trump on crippling the ability of employers to profit heavily from international labor arbitrage, among other things. But we can't do that, that would violate someone's rights and make it harder for a SF Bay Area entrepreneur to outsource some work to China.

Comment Won't get there (Score 2) 374

The cost increases come down to a few things:

1. An explosion in admin staff.
2. A resort-like building and activity culture.
3. A guaranteed flow of a lot of income via student loans.

People leaving college with $100k in debt is already becoming a serious problem and the prospects are dismal for many majors. Political support is already turning slowly against universities and their culture for these reasons. If it gets to the point where $100k in debt is normal, you can expect a few things...

1. The states will order state universities to aggressively address #1 through lay offs and requiring them to prioritize the academic mission over everything else.
2. The federal government will simply stop supporting federally-backed loan requests for universities that charge an arm and a leg.
3. At least some states, and possibly the feds, will start adopting anti-discrimination laws that punish employers who require degrees for reasons other than it being absolutely necessary to demonstrate knowledge and qualification.

I expect #3 to happen earlier and hit the universities very hard. There are so many jobs where a degree is objectively not required or is at best only a loose correlation with being qualified that many employers will quickly drop that in favor of a demonstration of expertise. In the long run, that'd benefit society in general and ironically, I expect it would do 10x more to make our industry "diverse" than all of the diversity initiatives combined. Why? Because it would let a candidate for a HBC compete more easily with the graduates of the schools that big companies favor because they'd be scared shitless of being seen as favoring degrees over demonstration of knowledge.

Comment A ban on a ban is the right call (Score 0) 164

They're leaving the ability to tax and regulate in place, so I'm not the least bit sympathetic. Local officials are the very worst violators of property rights at all levels of government, on average. Ever think about what a property tax really means? It means you have a perpetual lean on your property where the government holds that against you. The trend should be to strip local governments of power to fundamentally tax and regulate property ownership, not empower them.

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